The BrainGate Research and Development team led by Dr. John Donoghue is the winner of the $1 million B.R.A.I.N. (Breakthrough Research And Innovation in Neurotechnology) contest at the inaugural International Brain Technology Conference.

The BrainGate team, based at Brown University with collaborators at the Massachusetts General Hospital, the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Providence, Rhode Island), Case Western Reserve University, and Stanford University, triumphed over nine other B.R.A.I.N finalists. The collaborative has demonstrated the first human uses of an implanted neural sensor and neural interface system to control robotic and prosthetic arms in three-dimensional space.

The team presented a case in which a woman with tetraplegia served herself a cup of coffee nearly 15 years after a stroke.

The BrainGate research was praised for “enabling a new understanding of human brain function and the development of a novel, fully-implanted platform neurotechnology capable of wirelessly transmitting large numbers of neural signals from multiple types of sensors for use in Brain Computer Interface, epilepsy monitoring, and neuromodulation applications.”

Over 70 companies from across the globe applied for the contest.

The B.R.A.I.N contest was one part of the two-day conference in Tel Aviv that put the spotlight on the Israeli Neurotechnology Industry and global brain initiatives.